Aug
16

Creating New Brand & Customer Energy: Whole Foods Wellness Club


Whole Foods is opening its first wellness club in Dedham, Mass. It’s intended to “not only show and tell us what’s good for us but also how to prepare it.”

Here’s the facebook page link, and a statement of its mission.

Club member benefits (which come at a cost) include reference library, lifestyle evaluation, chef training on how to prepare healthy dishes, courses and lectures developed by medical doctors, inspirational and informative skill-building classes, supper clubs and special events, coaching and support. Products that meet the club’s “code of health” carry a Wellness Club seal of approval.

The grocer intends to open four other Wellness Clubs before the end of the year — in NY; Chicago; Oakland, CA; and Princeton, N.J. “If the prototypes do well, we would open more in 2012 as part of a growth initiative,” says John Mackey, chairman and co-CEO.

Here’s what I like about this extension:

Brand Fit. It’s a strong (genuine and perceptual) fit with the Whole Foods brand mission (making a difference in the lives of our Team Members and the customers we serve, and in the communities and environments in which we operate) and motto (Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet).

On Trend. It rides a seemingly boundless trend of proactively managing our health & wellness, particularly important among Whole Foods’ core target demo of Boomers; and more specifically, those who appreciate the role natural/organic foods can play in helping you live a healthier life.

More Meaning. It makes Whole Foods more integral to the daily lives of its customers, beyond a grocery retailer to a brand that now participates in helping them (through its actions) take more control of their lives, and get to where they want to go.

Differentiation. The Club adds yet another dimension of distinction to a brand that was already unique in its offering, positioning and equity versus other grocers.

Experience. It provides an even more “wow” in-store experience for members and (prospective member) shoppers, beyond the already sensory experience that is Whole Foods.

Long-term Value. It builds short-term revenue and (hopefully) sustainable long-term value of the Whole Foods brand.

What do you think about the impact of Wellness Club – on Whole Foods, its customers and competitors?

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About The Author

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a branding + marketing agency creating the momentum, the vital energy, a brand needs to reach its full potential – to inspire and support customers and drive new growth. The firm works exclusively across the three intrinsically connected industries of across Health, Wellness & Leisure. The common threads are consumers who want to feel better, look better and play better, and brands that fulfill these aspirations and goals.

7 thoughts on “Creating New Brand & Customer Energy: Whole Foods Wellness Club

  1. Just a gentle reminder that there are over 12,000 natural food stores that already offer these types of services, for free, and have done so for much longer than the short 30 years that Whole Foods has been around. We welcome WF back into the fold of the natural community, and with them well promoting wellness over wealthiness. Now, can you provide these services for free like the rest of us do, and in more than must one store?
    That would really mean something!

  2. Just a gentle reminder that there are over 12,000 natural food stores that already offer these types of services, for free, and have done so for much longer than the short 30 years that Whole Foods has been around. We welcome WF back into the fold of the natural community, and wish them well promoting wellness over wealthiness. Now, can you provide these services for free like the rest of us do, and in more than must one store?
    That would really mean something!

  3. Alan,

    Thank you for your comments. I do believe this is a smart extension for Whole Foods, which was really where I was coming from with this post. But I certainly do understand and appreciate your perspective.

    Regards,
    Eric

  4. Thank you for your comments.

    My post really focused on why this is a smart extension for Whole Foods. But I certainly do appreciate and respect your perspective.

    Regards,
    Eric

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